30 Apr 2019
If you’re moving out of the family home for the first time, here’s what you need to think about.
So the time has come to think about moving out of the family home.
It’s a big step…take a second to imagine what it will feel like. Playing your music as loud as you want. House guests who can come and go as you please. Your very own remote control.
But hang on…there’s the washing to consider. And cooking dinner every night. And the bills to pay.
Moving out of home for the first time is exciting. But with freedom comes responsibility. You’re on the hook for a lot of stuff your parents might have been covering, from your nightly entertainment on the goggle box to simply paying for the water that comes out of the taps.
And as well as going solo with all the drudge work like cooking, washing and cleaning, the financial implications of independent living can come as a bit of a shock.
You might be surprised at the number of essentials your parents subsidised over the years. It’s not just keeping them sweet with $50 towards the weekly groceries. It’s everything from the electricity bill to home repairs to running a car.
Checklist when you’re moving out of your parents’ home
If you’re looking to fly the nest, here’s a quick checklist to help you get to grips with life in the big wide world.
1. You might need to land your first full-time job.
To secure an interview, it could be a good idea to review your resume (CV) to make sure it accurately reflects and presents your experience and potential. Check out this helpful guide to grabbing the reader’s attention in six seconds. And as always, be sensible with social media and don’t upload anything that is going to cruel your chances with future employers. Once you’re at the interview you’d be amazed at how much difference the simple things make.
- Arrive with plenty of time to sit down and prepare for what you’re going to say.
- Add some colour to what you plan to wear to stand out—but not too much so you’re over-dressing.
- Prepare a few answers to the most important topics as interviewers often repeat the same question1.
2. You might need to find your first apartment.
If you’re looking to rent, make sure you read the small print of your contract so that you know your rights and obligations.
- How much notice does your landlord need to give to turf you out?
- And how much notice do you need to give if you want to move on?
- Have you met your prospective housemates if you’re looking at a shared house?
- What are your rights – will the landlord cover repairs and maintenance?
- Can you move your pet cat in or redo the bedroom colour scheme?
- What’s the process for paying the rent and what happens if you’re late?
3. You might need to furnish your pad.
Maybe your parents or other family members are keen to get rid of some old furniture. Alternatively, it’s amazing what you can find on eBay and Gumtree at knockdown prices. It doesn’t need to be in mint condition…you’re furnishing your first pad, not auditioning for The Block.
4. You might need to set up a broadband contract.
Until now you might have benefited from your parents’ telco setup. But now you might need to open your own home internet and telco account for the first time. While a landline might be a bit old school, super-fast broadband these days is seen as a necessity and doesn’t always come cheap. Try shopping around and seeing if you can bundle your broadband with your existing mobile phone plan. And it doesn’t stop at broadband. You might need to work out if Netflix, Stan or Foxtel is a necessity or a luxury you can live without…or share the costs with your housemates or partner.
5. You might need to own a car for the first time.
It’s great if you can commute to work by public transport but not everyone is near a train station, a bus stop or a bike path. The reality is that you may need to get around in your own car. If you’re buying a car, make sure the vehicle is roadworthy so you don’t have any nasty surprises. You can always negotiate on price or walk away so don’t feel rushed into buying a lemon. And running a car doesn’t come cheap. Rego, insurance, fuel, repairs, maintenance…it all needs to be paid for so make sure you factor it into your budget.
6. You might need to connect and pay for utilities.
It could depend on your rental contract but you may have to cover utilities like water, gas and electricity – all the boring stuff but kinda necessary for a functioning household. In your parents’ day, there was generally one option for utilities…it wasn’t the Soviet Union but it was close. These days there are plenty of plans out there so there’s no excuse for not shopping around for the best deal.
7. You might need to budget for groceries for the first time.
Even if you’ve been helping the olds with the weekly shopping, it could come as a shock to cover your entire grocery bill for the first time. Look out for specials at the supermarket and stock up on staples when they’re cheap. You might want to think about cutting down on takeaways and having friends round to eat in rather than eating out.
8. You might need to think about how much you spend, how much you save and even how much you invest.
Now you’ve moved out of the parents’ home, there’s probably even less excuse to blow your monthly savings on a round of cocktails at the local dive bar. But flying solo financially involves a bit more than just avoiding excess. It sounds basic, but if you can get a handle on the three areas—what’s coming in, what’s going out and what you can save—it’s the key to developing healthy money habits throughout your working life. An account like the AMP Saver Account can help you set aside money to help you reach your goals.
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